Arts Desk

A One-Day Film Festival? Try One Screening Time.

This evening the Sundance Institute's Film Forward program will screen its collection of movies it considers to "engage local, underserved and youth audiences in dialogue" around the world. The titles include some of 2010's best, including the Oscar-nominated Appalachian gothic Winter's Bone, the Palestinian immigrant tale Amreeka, and the startling Chinese labor documentary Last Train Home.

For the screenings the organizers have reserved theaters circling the mall, including several Smithsonian museums, the National Archives, and the National Gallery of Art. The catch? Every film begins at either 6 or 6:30 p.m., so choose wisely.

A few pointers: Most films are $10. A pair—Freedom Riders and Sons of Babylon—are free, though Freedom Riders is also an installment of the PBS anthology series American Experience premiering on television next week. (An early cut played at Silverdocs last year; it's quite good.) Instead of cramming into the McGowan Theater at the National Archives, see something else tonight and catch Freedom Riders next Monday. Also consider buying tickets beforehand—the directors of each film will be on hand to introduce their work, while actors like Robert Redford, Ed Norton, Kerry Washington, Forrest Whitaker, and Benjamin Bratt are said to be milling about.

The films starting at 6 p.m. are Freedom Riders, La Mission, Udaan, and BOY; at 6:30, Last Train Home, A Small Act, Afghan Star, Amreeka, Sons of Babylon, and Winter's Bone. Click here for locations and tickets.

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